The Open Space Council Blog


California’s New Biodiversity Initiative Action Plan, the CLN, and You

September 13, 2018


The State of California has recently taken a series of big, bold steps to safeguard the state’s unique natural heritage in the face of climate change. You’re probably aware of SB100, the bill that recently passed that puts California on a path to be carbon-neutral by 2045. There’s another big, bold step that we want to make sure you’re aware of.

Last week, the Governor released the California Biodiversity Initiative Action Plan and signed an executive order outlining steps to safeguard California’s unique ecosystems from climate change threats. The executive order calls on the Secretaries of Food and Agriculture and Natural Resources to achieve three goals: promote deeper understanding of threats to California’s biodiversity, manage and restore natural and working lands and waterways, and explore appropriate financing options to achieve these goals. The order also establishes September 7 of each year as California Biodiversity Day.  The enacted 2018-19 state budget allocated $2.5 million to launch the California Biodiversity Initiative. The Action Plan includes recommendations related to improved habitat, migration corridors, and connectivity. It also notes that Caltrans and DFW are working together to update the statewide assessment of essential habitat connectivity. (Thanks to our friends and Environment and Energy Consulting for this summary!)

This is a big, bold step that perfectly complements what the the Bay Area land conservation community has been doing so well for decades: improving habitat, protecting key corridors, maintaining habitat connectivity, and creating new parks and trails for people to experience nature.

This also complements the Bay Area Conservation Lands Network. Right now 100+ scientists, planners, conservationists, and academics are working to update the Conservation Lands Network (CLN) as part of the Science Expansion project. Governor Brown’s action directly lines up with what the CLN Science Expansion is all about – identifying threats to biodiversity, including climate change, and investing in management and restoration of natural and working lands and waterways. The connections between the CLN and the State’s resources agencies are now even stronger.


Photo: California Biodiversity Initiative Plan